Come live with me

Allotment, Buses, Work

Wrightbus

On the 25th September Wrightbus finally went into administration. As usual the media were well in front any info coming from the company. I found out the night before from one of my contacts inside the factory, that the company would be going into administration in the morning. I was told to gather my staff and expect a call in the morning to receive the news officially. Sadly my staff came to Orpington and we all hung around waiting for the call, we watched a covert feed from the factory as production staff were all told it was over. We waited till 14:00 and still hadn’t heard anything official so I sent the lads home and told them to not drive their vans tomorrow until we had heard something. We received the official notice at 16:50 after a hastily organised conference call, it was as if they had forgotten they had staff on the mainland.

I was devastated by the news, I had worked for Wrights for nine and a half years and had built the team myself, it was like a bereavement. After 42 years of continuous employment I was now looking at the prospect of signing on, I was advised to do this straight away by the administrator. I wasn’t really up to doing this and quickly found myself a new job. I am still connected with the bus industry.

Allotment

The plot is now more or less finished for the year and I am in the process of covering it up. I left it too late to cover last year and really regretted it. The plot really ran away from me, in part, due to not covering it up. So I am not going to make the same mistake again. I am going to leave a little part of the plot open so that I can plant my garlic and some winter onions. I haven’t produced as much as I like to this year, but everything grown got eaten.

Mostly cleared but still a bit to do

Photo Archives

I was having a rummage around through my old photographs and came across this one. It was from one of two holidays I had with my parents and was taken in the south of France. We went away in an old 1961 Vauxhall Victor Estate, my dads sister and her family came with us in a different car. We went as far as Lourdes, my fathers family were big Catholics. The little girl next to me is my cousin Margret, I am still in touch with her today. I was about five years old when this was taken.

Paul and Margret C1965

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Under your thumb forever

Allotment, Buses, Uncategorized

Wrightbus

We had a call on Friday updating us on the current situation, which hasn’t told us much more than we already know. We are expecting it to reach a conclusion in the next week or so. I’m not sure what Wrights will look like after this is over, I have my own views. I’ll share them when its all settled.

Allotment

I have more or less got my plot cleared! It has been really hard work, a big lump of the plot has really gotten away from me this year. I think the effort needed to clear the plot has really taken my mind off of the shenanigans in Ballymena. I have some big plans next year and in the four years I have had the plot I don’t think I’ve ever got all of it back to dirt. Over the next few weeks I will be rotavating and covering most of the plot in order to get a good start next spring. Lesley has already started covering her plot as most of her veg is up and stored now. Lesley has had a good year, with a bumper crop of spuds, carrots and butternut squashes. I did really well with onions and shallots, and I have three strings of onions hanging in the shed, I reckon they will see us through to December/January. I had a ropey year for Apples, Tomatoes and Beetroots. I had plenty of gooseberries, redcurrants and plums. So I still have much to do but should be fully closed up by November, the only thing will grow over the winter will be garlic.

The plot looking less grassy

Ham Radio

Although I haven’t done much radio lately and have no intentions of attending the club, I did find out that that one of the guys I liked up there has died. Steve M6SBQ was a fair bit older than me but came from the same part of London as me. We instantly had a connection that many of the other members of the club didn’t get. Even though Harlow is only about 20 miles from where I grew up, if you weren’t from there you couldn’t understand. I don’t know where you ended up Steve, but all the best mate until we talk further down the log.

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Fate, up against your will

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Wrights is still rumbling on and is a very sad place to work in London. There are still a few interested parties but no one is coming to the front. I understand the need to keep this under wraps until it is all signed and sealed, but the buyer/investor will probably influence my decision to stay or go. So for me, there is quite a bit riding on this and the uncertainty is driving me potty.

Family

Quite a few birthday’s this month the most important (for me) is my Daughter’s 30th. She and her boyfriend have taken themselves off to Florence for the weekend, a bit of a nostalgic trip for her as she used to work there. My dear Father in-law is 80 next week so my Son and wife are travelling up on Monday to be with him. They have quite a week planned, I am disappointed that I can’t be there, because despite the popular jokes, I actually love my in-laws. My goddaughter/niece also turns 41 this week, time really does fly.

Allotment

I have been working really hard this week on the plot. I have made quite a bit of progress on the top half of my plot which has got ahead of my this year. It is clearing quite well and I will be covering it again with builders membrane to keep the weeds down next year. The plan for the bottom half next year is to put a nature pond in and some wild flowers around it. We have quite a bit of wildlife around the allotment and it will be nice to give it a hand. My wife has a small pond on her plot and every year it is filled with frogspawn. I would like to see hedgehogs on the site but the rescue people won’t allow us any (rightly so) because of the use of slug pellets. The good thing is that the use of metaldehydes in slug pellets will be banned in 2020, which will mean that once the old supplies of pellets dry up we should be ok. I don’t use pellets and don’t really have any problems, the guy with the plot next to me must go through five tubs per season, ridiculous!

Personal

I haven’t been feeling myself lately, I have been having some really dark moods. This is unusual for me because I normally shake these things off quite easily, but I think with all that’s going on in work, it is starting to effect me. I don’t believe in depression, I have seen a family member manipulate other members of the family to get an easy ride so don’t believe one bit of it in most cases. My mother carried a baby full term and due to medical negligence, lost the baby during birth, she suffered badly and did have a hard time getting over it. I fully get depression in cases like this, but I have nothing to be depressed over, unlike many of the people (self) diagnosed with depression today. Unless you have had some traumatic experience (war, child loss, abuse etc) I just don’t get it.

Enough waffle for today

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Once bad — what’s the use of turning

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Work

Work carries on from the bizarre to the ridiculous, the situation at Wrights is becoming difficult to sustain. They have a number of interested parties but no decision has been made yet, how much longer it will lumber on for is anybody’s bet. At the moment the song that is stuck in my head, but mainly the video of Phil Collins 80’s hit “Jesus he loves me” That will become clear once it all comes out.

Martha II

After much driving up and down the A11 and cussing and swearing I managed to get Martha through the Boat Safety Certificate again. After I’d serviced her and did some maintenance she went straight through the test with no comments. I have really enjoyed getting stuck in again and having something to focus on.

I had intended to sell her this year, but as usual after spending a day crawling around the engine bay, sitting at the back of the boat enjoying the sunset with my dog. I decided to keep her for another year or so. I did discuss the sale with a couple of my boat neighbours, they felt that I would be crazy getting rid of something I enjoy. They are right.

Leyton Orient

The football season has started again and I of course renewed my season ticket. It has been a very strange break mainly because of the unexpected death of our manager Justin Edinburgh. I did speak to him once at the supporters club and he just seemed like a down to earth normal bloke. He was much loved by the supporters, and rightly so, but it is going to take a while for the club to get over.

We started off the season with a win and while we moaned about it the last time we were in League two, I am really pleased to see an improvement on the refereeing compared to national league. Some of the decisions made in the NL were completely bewildering.

I am really looking forward to the season, I was at Mansfield Town on Tuesday night, at half time we were two nil down, but managed to see the O’s pull it back and score the winning goal at 96 minutes. The atmosphere at the end was like a cup game, the funniest thing I saw was our manager, who had run down to the away supporters, being man handled over the hording as the steward thought he was another supporter.

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You can’t always get what you want

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Wrightbus

I have worked for Wrights for over nine years now and the company is now battling for survival. In a well documented “leak” to Sky News, the company have now appointed Deloitte to find them an investor who is willing to put 30 million pound into the business to allow it to continue trading. Things are going to get very interesting over the next month and certainly a local DUP politician claims that there are only two weeks left to save the company. I have read some of the stuff on social media, which from what I can see are unsubstantiated, and it all looks like it’s going to get very messy. So I sit here contemplating my next adventure, at almost 59 I am probably well past my sell by date. I am going to have to look at my options. I would love to share more about the situation at Wrights but they are currently my employer so I would be foolish to publish anything, but I think it may be cathartic once this chapter comes to a conclusion. Watch this space!

The Boat

After an extended absence from Norfolk, this month I made my return. I was disappointed to see Martha in such bad shape but to be honest I had neglected her. So I have spent most of the month cleaning her up and bringing her back up to standard

A nice beer after working in temperatures exceeding 35c

I have now got her more or less ready for the boat safety certificate, which is like a MOT test, except that it lasts three years and is nowhere near as stringent. The BSC is to be carried out in a fortnights time and I apart for a little bit of fettling it should be about ready after one more visit next week. I am looking forward to spending more time on the broads again.

Orient

Our season tickets have arrived and our first game on the 3rd of August, roll on!

Here’s hoping that my next blog isn’t a view of the demise of Wrightbus from a London perspective

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I guess you always knew

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Allotment

I am way behind with the plot this year, this is mostly due to a chest infection which has lingered for about six weeks and has made me feel like an 80 year old. Things are returning to normal health wise but the rain has benefitted the grass and weeds so once again I am playing catch up. The stuff I have got planted out is doing well, but I have much less of it. It was getting me down until Sunday when I had an epiphany moment, I had to remind myself why I have an allotment and what I enjoy the most about it. It’s easy to loose sight sometimes, so I have decided to make about 20% of my plot for the wildlife. I will put a wildlife pond and fill the surrounding area with flowers which attract bees such as ragged robin. The ground cover will also be good for beetles and such.

I have had a bumper crop of Strawberries, Gooseberries Cherries this year, I will also end up with a bucket full of Redcurrants by the looks of it.

Gooseberry gin in the making

Family

I was given a load of photographs from one of my mothers sisters recently. She could be a funny old bird, but I think she probably wasn’t the only one in her family who was, and when I think of the upbringing she had, I can sort of understand it.

My mother is in the centre with three of her sisters, to the left of her is Sheila and the far right is Flo, I think Ruth is on her right but I can’t be certain. The wedding was of her other sister Clare, she (Chris) would have been about nineteen at this time, Ron and Clare married in 1952. The lady on the far left I believe was Clare’s husbands (Ron Craddock) sister

I have been tracing my mother in law’s family tree for some time, her maiden name is Willoughby. I had a small breakthrough recently and opened up a straight five or six generation line back to the early 1700’s, this puts them in Cornwall. Its looking like the next generation back will place them in Colchester Essex, but I have yet to give it a sanity check to prove or disprove the Essex link.

My daughter started a new job this week and I am so pleased for her, she went to work for House of Fraser about six months before it was taken over by Mike Ashley’s mob and it became a hostile environment straight away. The company she is now working for is pretty much like all the other marketing companies she has worked for. While she was working her notice she got a call from her new company to say that they were having a team building weekend in the south of France in August and she needed to put it in her diary. Team building in the south of France, as my mother used to say, nice work if you can get it.

In other family news one of my cousins died a few weeks ago, I hadn’t seen him for years but he was a good bloke. It’s life I suppose, the previous generation, on my fathers side, have all gone now, and now it’s our turn. It still seems strange to me that my brother is 67 now and I’ll be 59 this year, I don’t know where it goes.

That’ll do for now

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I’ve been hanging around the old town

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Leyton Orient

After two years in the National League, the O’s bounced back and ended the season as Champions gaining automatic promotion back in to the football league. I think we were fortunate not to end up in the NL for longer, most teams drop out and stay there for 4-5 years. The plus point for being in the NL in the main is the way the club and the fans have gelled. I think the two years that Becchetti had the club damaged the fan/club relationship so much that I didn’t think it would ever be the same again. On top of that we also ended up in the FA Trophy final at Wembley. Me and my son made a day of it but unfortunately the O’s didn’t really get going and lost 1:0 to AFC Fylde, I can’t knock Fylde as they are a good team and narrowly missed out on promotion themselves. Me and Pat enjoyed the day and I ran into some old school friends at the match, so all in all we never got the trophy but we are the National League champions and are back in the EFL.

Work

The company are going through some very difficult times at the moment and I hope they get through it, it does make my working week very frustrating however. I won’t elaborate at the moment but it is reflective of what is going on in the bus industry at the moment.

I have been a bit lax in getting posts up, which I will address next week to bring the blog up to date.

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